Homelessness still a concern in Inner West

Tuesday 25 February 2020

The annual Inner West Street Count has found that homelessness continues to be of concern in Sydney’s Inner West.

Council has a commitment to ‘Assist people who are homeless or sleeping rough’ as part of its Community Strategic Plan (CSP).

The CSP identifies the community’s vision for the future and long-term goals and strategies.

To that end, Council has coordinated the Homelessness Street Counts through a collaboration of six partner organisations* annually since 2016. The data is used to track the extent and locations of people sleeping rough and is passed on to homelessness outreach services.

Last year, 16 rough sleepers identified by the Ashfield and Newtown patrols were housed through this outreach collaboration.

The success of the project was recognised with a 2019 Community Partnerships and Collaboration NSW Local Government Excellence Award.

This year’s count was conducted on Monday 17 February in a range of homelessness ‘hot spots’.

Staff and volunteers from the partner organisations walked the streets observing and recording the numbers and locations of people sleeping rough.

They found 25 people were rough sleeping in a range of locations including parks, footpaths, in vehicles and tents.

Vulnerable people living without any accommodation at all represent perhaps the most visible form of homelessness.

Less visible are people either couch surfing or in overcrowded, unstable or inadequate accommodation.

Last year, Council spent $53,000 funding eight projects to assist people who are homelessness, including:

•Establishment of ‘On My Feet’ in the Inner West, a walking and exercise group for those experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness and long-term unemployment, to change their outlook so they can make decisions that result in better life outcomes

•A Pop-up Pantry which sources groceries from Addison Road Food Pantry to distribute for free at Rozelle Neighbourhood Centre.

•Corporate Homeless Training Package Development at Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, repurposing a recent community homeless outreach program to business.

*The Street Count is conducted by six partner organisations: Inner West Council, Newtown Neighbourhood Centre, Exodus Foundation, Wesley Mission, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, and NSW Police.

For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 2 9392 5334 or Elizabeth.Heath@innerwest.nsw.gov.au


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Page last updated: 25 Feb 2020